This thesis examines statements made about immigration and mental health in Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie follows a young Nigerian immigrant as she navigates her move to the U.S. and explores the meaning of belonging and identity in the U.S. and Nigeria. Henriquez’s The Book of Unknown Americans is about a Mexican family that immigrates to Delaware in order to secure better treatment for their daughter and touches on the nuances of the Latinx immigrant identity in the U.S. Both of these texts feature the lack of resources and support available for immigrants of color which eventually lead the characters to return to their country of origin. This thesis posits that Adichie and Henriquez are both suggesting in their respective works that the U.S. fails to ensure the success and well-being of immigrants which leads to a deterioration of mental health and feelings of not belonging. A Portrait of Neglect considers the real life implications of Adichie’s and Henriquez’s ideas and the impact of their representations of immigration and mental health.
- A Portrait of Neglect